Speaking to L’Equipe, Lille head coach Frederic Antonetti has admitted that he is ‘not afraid’ of losing Sofiane Boufal in the January transfer window, despite reports linking him with a Premier League switch.
When asked about the interest in Boufal, Antonetti said: “I see a lot of failures in departures. Because sometimes they go a little too early. I am not afraid of losing Sofiane Boufal in January, because of all the discussions I had with him. He has many things to learn. In a club like Lille, he can move forward.”
22-year-old Boufal is a transfer target for both Tottenham and Liverpool according to various reports.
One of the best performers in Ligue 1, and still just 22, it is no surprise that Boufal is earning rave reviews and interest from some of Europe’s top clubs.
His form has somewhat faded in recent weeks, but he still has four goals in 13 games, and ranks second in Ligue 1 for completed dribbles. He also ranks in the top five for key passes played per game, and possesses undoubted potential which could be fulfilled in England.
However, Antonetti is not worried that Boufal will leave in January, as he believes the youngster wants to continue learning with Lille.
The head coach has held discussions with the winger, and it sounds as if he is ready to continue developing and growing under Antoinetti's guidance in Ligue 1.
If Boufal keeps performing as he has been, and keeps getting better and better, a move to England is surely not too far away. However, this coming January, it appears as if Tottenham and Liverpool will be missing out on one of their key transfer targets.